Ipswich 4 Doncaster 1
Slazenger EHL Premier DivisionIpswich 4 Doncaster 1Ipswich restarted the Slazenger EHL Premier League in the same fashion as when they left it, with a well deserved win.
Slazenger EHL Premier Division
Ipswich 4 Doncaster 1
Ipswich restarted the Slazenger EHL Premier League in the same fashion as when they left it, with a well deserved win.
A 4-1 defeat of Doncaster saw Ipswich stay in fifth place and close the gap on second place Slough, who lost to leaders Leicester 4-1, to only three points.
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Missing key players Emma Lee-Smith and Evie Van Poortvliet, and with minimal outdoor preparation due to the teams participation in the indoor league, Ipswich could have been forgiven for starting this match with some intrepidation, however this was probably the best all round team display from this side all season.
It probably was no coincidence that Ipswich's best game came with Kirsten Spencer back in the defensive starting line up after a four-month injury break. Her added experience and reading of the game gave Ipswich that little bit of extra confidence and they were soon playing some good fast paced hockey. Despite carving out some early chances Ipswich saw themselves go a goal behind when Doncaster's Jo Ellis scored with a neat deflection in the 17th minute.
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Spurred on, Ipswich began to overrun the visitor's defence and the home team created chance after chance but just could not find the composure and accuracy needed to beat the keeper. Despite rising frustration at the number of missed chances Ipswich kept to their game plan and were duly rewarded when leading goal scorer, 17 year-old Jenny Hall, scored her eighth league goal of the season. Her cool reverse flick foxed the keeper and Ipswich could sense that this goal would be the first of many.
As the clock ticked towards half time, Ipswich then produced the goal of the game. A superb move that started at the back of the pitch saw the ball played through midfielders Kate Hector and Jo Ellis before striker Lizzy Aldous picked out Sarah Tallent alone at the back post. Tallent made no mistake ramming the ball in and thoroughly enjoyed scoring her first ever Slazenger EHL goal.
The second half saw Doncaster battle on gamely but they could not contain an Ipswich side that was paying superb hockey and working hard all over the pitch. Vic Sandall was dominating the left midfield, while Aldous and Hall were creating chance after chance up front. Ipswich then moved into a 3-1 lead when Ellis scored her third goal of the season from a short corner.
The game was finally put of reach when Hector scored her fifth goal of the season in the 62nd minute, a top class strike from the top of the circle leaving the keeper rooted to the line.
Doncaster did have a goal disallowed late on but the day was all about the home team and Ipswich know they have a good platform to build on for the second half of the season.
The team face third placed Canterbury away next weekend and know that this will be a tough test, but one they are more than capable of passing if they continue to play as a team.